Baptism: A New Beginning
What exactly is baptism? Merriam Webster defines it as 1: a Christian sacrament marked by ritual use of water and admitting the recipient to the Christian community OR 2: an act, experience, or ordeal by which one is purified, sanctified, initiated, or named. In the bible, John tells people to come to the water to baptize them in preparation for the coming of the Messiah. He baptizes them in repentance for their sins but tells them that another will come to baptize in the spirit. So what exactly is baptism? It’s a new beginning. Moreover, it is when you claim your allegiance to the kingdom of God.
Baptism: A Claim
When we decide to get baptized or get our children baptized, we are saying, “We belong to Christ.” It is our public claim that we believe. How important is making a public claim? Why does it matter? If I were willing to lay down my life for someone, I think I would want them to at least acknowledge that they are on my team. Jesus wasn’t just willing to die for us – he did die for us. One nostalgic old hymn I remember hearing in my house growing up was For Those Tears I Died. It is a beautiful song imagining what Jesus would say as He is calling people to be baptized.
Why It Matters
Does it really matter? Do we really need to be baptized? I thought that faith in Jesus and a request to save us from our sins was all we needed to get into heaven. That’s true. But, if we are reluctant to make a public claim about our faith – do we really believe? If a friend only acts as a friend when no one else is around, wouldn’t you suspect that they might not be as good a friend as they profess to be? Jesus claimed us all on the cross. He knew each and every one of our stories. He knew all the bad we would do and all the good. But, he didn’t wait until we were on the right path – He claimed us as we were – before we began acting like a friend. That’s why it matters.
New Beginnings Start With Bold Statements
When we publicly claim Christ, we are professing our faith. We are allowing the world to hold us accountable for our actions. And, like a fitness buddy, accountability is key to progress.
40-Day Challenge: Day 19 Reading
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.